Although several citizens urged the Board of Commissioners to make further cuts in the county budget, the board voted 3-2 to approve the budget in a regularly scheduled open meeting Tuesday.
The budget includes a one-cent property tax decrease and education funding at $164 million. The commissioners introduced the budget in late April and have held five public hearings around the county.
Commissioners Richard Rothschild and Robin Bartlett-Frazier , contending that the budget includes recurring costs for future years when it is unlikely that revenues will increase.
"I do not believe this budget is conservative by any definition of the term, and I will not vote for it," Rothschild said. "No budget can be considered conservative if routine recurring expenditures exceed routine recurring revenues."
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Bartlett-Frazier also said that she would have liked to see a $16 million surplus spent differently. She said a conservative budget would have used that money to pay down debt or to make a one-time payment as opposed to building recurring costs into the budget.
Commissioner Haven Shoemaker defended the budget.
"This budget helps Carroll County reduce debt obligation by 11 percent plus provides tax relief this year by taking a penny off the tax rate," Shoemaker said. "To characterize that as anything but conservative makes no sense whatsoever. I am 100 percent in support of the proposed budget."
The fiscal year 2013 budget is a $10.5 million or 3 percent increase over the fiscal year 2012 budget. Education funding is up $5 million, or 2.9 percent, over fiscal year 2012.